Drive Shafts Industry Tricks
Dealing With The Dealer Consumer Tricks
Consumer Driven Deals
Auto Consumer Resources
Grand Theft Auto: Industry Cases
Last VW Mistake
Other Car Not A VW
True Costs of Driving
15 Sec. Car Deal Lecture
Eco Orgs & Auto Industry
- Up-armoring Car
Deals - Do-It-Yourself Troop Support
Tell Car Makers To Make Cleaner-Air Vehicles
Ford Motors Company to Get it's Gas in Gear
- "The secret
to acting is honesty, if you can fake that you've got it made..."
- George Burns
a car, go carless, and enjoy carlessnesshood if you can, and
save $550,000 over your lifetime (if you begin carfreedom soon enough
- but it is never too late to go carless) of merely average auto
related costs. And if you cannot go carless, go CARveat Emptorally
-- make the Car-Deal-Literacy-to-Library
and stop paying too much every time you buy, lease or service
an automobile. Paying too much for anything, especially air polluting
automoibles is very ungreen!!!
Car Deal Profits
Also See: The True Costs of
Real Price of Gas [The last entry at the bottom of this page also
reflects estimated gas and driving associated costs.] [As long
as we continue to throw good money after bad for the automobile,
without making investments in auto alternatives, even without
major natural or cultural perturbations or interventions, we
can expect the costs of auto ownership and operation to grow
Ding the Dealer
and the Manufacturer
on Negotiated Profits
and Auto Manufacturer profits:
Don't leave the dealership without the consumer's fair share
- How many
times have you heard people boast about how great a deal they
obtained on their new car purchase or lease. Oh yeah? They may have
gotten the best deal they thought they could under the circumstances,
but did they really get that great of a deal? Consider that they
likely only negotiated the dealer's take or profit on the deal.
Keep in mind that many people mistakenly think they are getting
a great deal when they pay the window sticker price. Unfortunately
too many people still pay this price without negotiating. This
assumes they have not bought a "new" car that the manufacturer,
dealer of trucker damaged and repairs prior to sale without disclosures.
However, consider that the manufacturer is hiding its profits
in the manufacturer's invoice. This is what is often called the
Consider that not only has the manufacturer covered all of its
costs to make the vehicle including exorbitant executive salaries
and pensions, and billions of dollars in national and regional
advertising in its invoice price to the dealer, but it also factors
in rebates and dealer sales incentives.
Often a 3% to 5% "holdback" is added into the manufacturer's
invoice and is paid to the dealer upon sale of the vehicle, in
addition to sales incentives. Add what your friends paid to the
dealer on top of the manufacturer's holdback and sales incentives,
and you're talking real money for five minutes of often sloppy
paperwork and hours of haggling which the dealer drags out to
three or four hours to wear down consumers. And keep in mind
that many consumers pay $20,000 or more for an $11,000 car.
Paying 30% to 50% more than any product is worth is not a
good deal. Not for toasters, not for toothpaste, and especially
not for automobiles. Not even when the dealer or salesperson
smiles, shakes your hand and compliments you on how tough or
good you are at negotiating price.
DON'T DO IT!
- Never disclose
your "budget", or how much you can afford to pay per month.
never, never. Instead, focus the discussion on the dealer's lowest
price, and get the dealer's lowest price quote in writing. Do
not let the dealer make you come back with competitive or comparative
prices to negotiate. Do not fall for this common car deal trick.
Know your budget or how much you can afford , and pick a price
approximately 15% to 30% below this amount to begin negotiating
up to your "drop-dead-I'm-walking" (with a courteous)
smile price. Never let the dealer or salesperson know you are
impatient, unless and until you can use this as a guilt manipulative
trick to motivate the dealer to sell at your price.
- Unless you
are negotiating the manufacturer's profit on new car deals, including no-dicker or "value priced"
deals, you are paying too much for the vehicle and not getting
the best deal possible. And neither are your friends, family
- If auto manufacturers
are posting record profits (take
a bow Mr., Mrs., Ms auto consumer), consumers are not
doing their job of negotiating fair manufacturer and dealer profits.
Hold dealers and manufacturers to a fair profit and not a dime
- See other
pages of this website for possible ways of getting a piece of the manufacturer's
profits on every new car deal. Learn to avoid the dealer's primary
weapon against consumers: System Selling. Learn how dealers use
System Selling tricks to motivate sales, reverse these tricks
into System Buying, and master the car dealer in every new car
the big profit$ are: =
Light (Heavy Profit) Trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)
= The GM Suburban is reported to garner for GM at least $15,000
in above costs profits per vehicle. Tip: Negotiate the Manufacturer's Profit
on All Light Truck and SUV deals and all other vehicles.
- When leasing
(not advised) your next new car, be careful to have the dealer quote in writing
(have it notarized) the rate of interest you are paying on the
and specify in writing the credit for any trade in or rebates
and other negotiated deal credits. Many states do not require
such disclosures which are required on direct loans, and dealers
have been ripping off customers on credits for trade-ins and
rebates or other negotiated credits. Two thousand or more auto
consumers in Florida reported being leased vehicles they thought
they were buying and intended to purchase outright. Geez, I guess
on person's customer service is another person's rip-off. Hum,
must be more of that good old customer service the automobile
industry brags about in its advertising. Dealers have been stealing
commissions of 3% to 10% or more than the highly inflated MSRP
(window sticker price) on many vehicles because of slippery lease
agreement forms and non-disclosures of crucial consumer information.
Demand full disclosures in writing -- for what its worth...?
Negotiate maintenance costs, and early-out costs. Nail all of
these down in writing before leasing. Better yet, don't lease,
its generally a bad deal for consumers. CARveat Emptor.
Hidden Costs of Buying A Car Through Lease Agreements," by Emerald Yeh and Christine McMurry
(San Francisco Sunday Examiner - Chronicle Sunday section, July
7, 1996), available at your library perhaps on micro fiche...get
your hands on this before even considering buying or leasing
a car. Report says people planning to buy a $12,000 Toyota were
"sold" a lease costing over $26,000 by a Toyota dealer
for the $12,000 Toyota. Some customer service, eh? -- A $12,000
car for $26,000, -- where do we all get jobs like this...? Be
particularly wary of "Professionals" in the auto industry
not disclosing the lease rate, inflating the price of the lease
by the amount of your trade-in and other very sleazy and anti-consumer
sales and lease practices. How long are we going to permit this
industry to sham the American family on basic personal transportation?
Demand Fair Car Sales and Service Practices laws today to protect
our friends and families from the raw unprotected sham of unfair,
manipulative and fraudulent sales and service practices in the
auto industry. Consumers and honest dealers should have not qualms
about supporting fairness in auto sales and service practices.
Make sure your dealer supports fairness in car sales and service
before dealing for a car purchase or lease -- get the dealers
support for fairness in writing and send it off to your local,
state and national representatives with your demand for consumer
protection legislation in car sales and service practices. Now!
Beware of lease/purchase deals.
- Other hidden
costs: (lease payoff costs --
get this in writing up-front)
Loan interest rates
Lease interest rates (seldom disclosed voluntarily)
Undisclosed lease costs (seldom disclosed voluntarily)
Consumer's car buying time (the hassle factor costs)
Excessive dealer and manufacturer overhead costs
etc. (make a list)
- If you cannot
read or understand the dealers contract and deal forms, do not
sign any of them. If they favor the dealer
or manufacturer over the consumer, negotiate a better agreement.
Don't buy cars, but if you do, be a buyer, don't be sold.
Consider requesting that the dealer complete all of the forms
prior to closing the deal, so that you can take them with you
to review before signing them, and if possible, have them reviewed
by an attorney prior to completing the deal.
If the vehicle has been out of your sight at anytime between
test driving it and signing the contract, re-inspect and retest
drive the vehicle and check the VIN (vehicle identification number)
to make sure the dealer has not mistakenly or purposefully switched
vehicles, or that the vehicle has not been damaged or that items
have not been removed from it.
Does money matter anymore?
With The Dealer
cost of gas and subsidizing the automobile": Michael Mechanic on the
Opinion Page of the San Francisco Examiner (April 13, 1999) makes
the case that auto subsides cost each American man, woman
and child an estimated $4,000 (in 1999 dollars) in direct
consumer costs and indirect government subsidies of the gas,
auto and related industries.
He quotes a "Road Kill" report by the Conservation
Law Foundation (CLF) which concluded that motorists paid 40
to 64 cents per mile based on their study of driving costs
in Portland, ME and Boston, MA, published in May 1994. Then the
CLF studied the less tangible but no less real associated costs
of driving which are born or subsidized by all taxpayers [even
the carless] including: the costs for infrastructure and maintenance,
traffic-related public health and safety services including police
and fire; court expenses, energy subsidies, tax breaks to businesses
for employee parking, health costs and economic loses related
to air pollution, the impact of noise pollution on property values,
and impacts of importing foreign oil;--.these added up to between
79 and 94 cents per mile for solo driver's costs in the
Boston, MA area.
Mr. Mechanic (his real name) he also quotes "The Price
of Mobility," a 1993 report by the National Resources Defense
Council (Co-authored by Peter Miller and John Moffet) which
computed the national average costs of 38 to 52 cents per mile
for all U.S. drivers. The $4,000 per man, woman, and child total
costs for auto use in America adds up to $1.2 to $1.6 Trillion
ANNUALLY (every year!!!). Laugh, We're Paying For It!
covered by non-drivers was noted to be between $380 billion and
$660 billion yearly. This was calculated to be equivalent to an incremental
or unit cost of $3.70 to $6.50 per gallon of gas according
to Mr. Mechanic of the report's authors. [Note: in other areas
of these pages we note a CEEE estimation of the real costs of
gas to be between $5.15 and $15 per gallon compared to
the price reflected on the gas pump gauge -- so assuming accuracy
of delivery and the posted pump prices, say one big THANK YOU
to the non-driving carless who so graciously subsidize the horrendous
costs of our auto addictions.]
noted that neither study reflected the economic benefits of driving,
nor the harder to derive costs of urban sprawl [which the automobile
helped spawn] on our quality of life, resultant loss of farm
land and open space, wetlands; health and economic impacts of
water pollution from oil spills, stormwater runoff and leaking
underground fuel tanks; and the impacts of industries such as
mining, chemical and waste operations which support the auto
industry and related auto industrial complex.
Last Entry This Page...
[How much more gridlock
are we willing to "spring-for" before we decide that more substantive
and sustained investment in public transit, trains, and similar
auto alternatives is a benefit to all of us, even us auto addicts?]
[You may find these estimated costs helpful in calculating your
real per tankful monthly, yearly, or lifetime of auto and auto
related costs. Compare this cost with the benefits of sitting
pretty in gridlock in your inanimate, pollutive shiny thin tin,
plastic and glass status and sex symbol.]
Hidden Profit$ | Consumer
| Car Consumer Resources
| Car Deal Repair Kit | My Last VW Mistake
Reasons" | Lemon
Proofing Deals | CARveat's
You Can Help
| CARveat Emptor Flyer | VW Junkyard | Links
Car Not A VW | Legislative
Alerts | Dodging
Junkyard | Activist Flyers True
Costs of Driving |
15 Sec. Car
Deal Lecture | Parallel
Parking | Test-I-Moanials
Emptor - Tricks of the Great American Car Deal ©
© copyright 1995-2012, R. Rand Knox. All Rights Reserved.
Not for use, reuse, sale, resale or fee, in whole or part, unless
so licensed or released
by R. Rand Knox in writing.
Happy motoring, wheeling & dealing
-- virtually and really. Or Not!
Donate $15.00 or
more and we will email to you a 4 page .pdf file containing 19
car deal tricks sellers often use to inflate automobile costs,
and additional auto consumer resources.
Not tax deductible
No return. No refund.
Give Good Karma
Help us help you help others
What's In You?
GOT ASTHMA? Yet?
GOT WAR FOR OIL?
GOT TOXIC LOADING?
GOT GLOBAL WARMING?
GOT EXPENSIVE FOSSIL FUELS?
Have you told your auto maker, or the auto
industry to make more efficient and cleaner-air vehicles? Recently? (Flyer to copy and
post). Have you asked others if they have? It wouldn;t kill you
to do so! It may even help prevent or reduce asthma and global
Air, Planet, & People: To Save Y'our Breath, Lives, Money
Tell Car Makers To Make
Jump Start Ford For A Cleaner-air Future
2 Jump Start Ford
NHTSA to Improve Fuel Efficiency of SUVs
Car Makers To Get Their Gas In Gear Flyer 2-up
Save Your Breath, Life, Money
& Planet Flyer 1-up
Be A Fossil Fool - Fossil Fools Day
Literacy Self-help - Auto Consumer Resources:
Support - Up-armored Car Deals
Real Conservatives Conserve (The money you save may be your own.)